by Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, speaker, retreat host, Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC
I am so honored to do the work I love with such beautiful food grown by our local Arizona Farmers in natural, beautiful places in the Phoenix area. Last weekend I had the honor to lead a Winter Harvest Farm-to-Table Intuitive Cooking class at The Farm at South Mountain, in Phoenix, less than a mile from my home.
For this class, our culinary focus was an Asian Salad, Veggie Stir-fry, and Hummus. I shopped at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market the day before event (while also leading a Taste of the Market Cooking Demo) and the Soil & Seed Garden at The Farm also provided a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share for the class.
I was so incredibly excited getting set up for the class on our sunny Arizona winter day, immersed in the variety and colors and textures of the food for the class.
A look at the Farmers’ Market food…
A look at The Farm at South Mountain CSA, which included all kinds of greens, black radishes, edible flowers, oranges, and pecans.
I’m also sharing the beautiful “salad in a bowl” from The Farm, fresh and crisp and ready to enjoy with a simple flower.
We used the Asian Salad Dressing from my book, “A New View of Healthy Eating” as a guide for the dressings. (Scroll down for the recipe guide.) While I often teach how to make a basic salad dressing with an acid (lemon), fat (organic extra virgin olive oil), and sea salt, I have only taught the use of fresh ginger root in a salad a few times. The natural aromatherapy of the ginger really made this dressing fresh and unique.
A look at two different Asian Salads intuitively created during the class.
Winter Harvest Saute
Our stir-fry (really veggie saute) featured, in order of cooking:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Spring green garlic
- Green onions
- Red and orange tomatoes
- Sea salt
- Sweet potatoes
- Orange and purple carrots
- Sweet lime and orange juices
Our final dishes…Asian Salads…Winter Harvest Saute…Garlic Hummus…
Excerpt from “A New View of Healthy Eating”
Asian Salad with Vibrant Purple Cabbage and Tangy Citrus Ginger Root Dressing
Make your own gourmet Asian salad with a rainbow of raw organic veggies, your favorite toasted nuts, and intuitively created ginger root dressing.
Asian Salad: Ginger Salad Dressing: 3 Key Ingredients
The essential ingredients for a perfect Asian dressing every time are ginger root, a soy flavoring (wheat-free tamari soy sauce or Bragg’s amino acids), and fresh citrus.
- 1” fresh ginger root
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup soy tamari or Bragg’s amino acids
- ½ orange, juiced
- ½ fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp local honey
- ⅓ cup organic extra virgin olive oil
- Finely mince ginger root and garlic.
- Place in pint-size Mason jar.
- Add all other ingredients (except olive oil) to jar and shake.
- Taste and intuitively add ingredients to create your desired flavor.
- Too much acid: add olive oil
- Not sweet enough: add honey
- Too oily: add lemon or lime juice
The Power of Ginger
Ginger is a tropical plant whose roots have been used medicinally in Asia for centuries. Ginger root is a natural anti-inflammatory; it reduces nausea, helps digestion, and is good for colds and flu. A simple way to add fresh ginger to your food is to use it in a salad dressing.
“The key to a delicious ginger root salad dressing, taste the dressing while you are making it for just the right balance of ginger, citrus, and soy flavor.”
Asian Rainbow Salad
Along with a tangy ginger root dressing, a colorful rainbow of raw organic veggies creates a beautiful Asian salad.
- 1 purple cabbage, shredded
- 2 cups Napa cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 1 cucumber, julienned (long, thin slices)
- 1 cup snap peas or snow peas, cut on bias
- 6 green onions, cut on bias
- 1 cup red or purple radishes, shredded
- 1 cup almonds, sliced and dry toasted
- Dry toast (no oil) sliced almonds in small sauté pan on low heat for 5 minutes.
- Toss all vegetables in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Drizzle the Asian salad dressing on the vegetables and gently toss.
- Top with dry toasted almonds.
Finally, we created a very simple basic Hummus, just like the Hummus served at the VIP Tailgate Party at the Superbowl XLIV in Miami. Today’s hummus intuitively featured lots of fresh garlic. Click for Hummus recipe.
Hope you enjoy your local farmers’ produce with simple culinary skills and intuitive cooking. For additional ideas, Melanie Albert’s cookbook, “A New View of Healthy Eating” is available.’’